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Is my diamond damaged?

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dow084

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 24, 2007
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2
So, I purchased an expensive diamond ring for my fiance. It''s an SI1 quality diamond and when I inspected the bare stone in the store I did not notice any defects to the naked eye (though there were quite a few under magnification).

Anyway, when I finally received the mounted ring, I noticed a large cloud (for lack of a better word) on the side of the diamond which I could see with the naked eye from arm''s length away. The cloud is in an area directly on the side of the diamond, where you would think the jeweler''s forceps would have held the diamond as it was mounted on the setting.

Anyway, I brought the cloud to the attention of the jeweler, and he examined it and compared it to the GIA certificate and he pointed out that the certificate did say that there was a feather in the area we now see the cloud and as a result this cloud was there the whole time. Furthermore, when I asked how this diamond could be rated an SI1 clarity diamond when there is a defect visible to the naked eye at arm''s length away, he replied that diamond clarity is graded from the top and not from the side.

My questions are... Is diamond quality graded strictly from the top (which would mean that large defects on the side or bottom are completely ignored)? Is it possible that the jeweler damaged the diamond while mounting it (which would mean imply that they are now lying to cover it up)? And, do I have any recourse at this time?

It''s been several months since I purchased the diamond. The jeweler has an upgrade policy wherein customers can trade up to a more expensive diamond. I first brought the diamond defect to their attention several months ago, and after getting their story saying that the diamond was like that beforehand, then decided that I wanted to upgrade the diamond. Since then, they say that they are having a hard time finding a better diamond than the one I have. FYI, it''s a little over two carats, cushion cut, E color, so maybe there is some truth to their excuse about difficulty... but looking on Blue Nile, I see at least a dozen diamonds that would be similar or better than the one I bought.

Anyway, the whole experience has been extremely frustrating... all the more so since having paid for the original diamond they don''t seem to really be paying much attention to me anymore. I guess ultimately I was wondering what you guys would do if you were in my situation. Thanks in advance for the advice...
 

DBM

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
404
while i haven''t seen the stone myself, i can only offer that a "bad" inclusion that is to the side of the diamond can be considered an SI1 because it''s not as prominent visually. How much to the side is it? Usually i try to cover the inclusions by the sides with the prongs so as to hide the noticeability. Even if the inclusion is too far "in" to be covered by the prong if you align it with the prong end it also hides the inclusion to the eyes as well.

arm''s length away visibility??? that''s a little surprising for an SI1...

I highly doubt that damage came to the stone by way of the jewelers forceps on a 2 carat cushion.
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Apr 30, 2005
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42,064
Date: 1/25/2007 12:15:01 AM
Author: DBM
while i haven''t seen the stone myself, i can only offer that a ''bad'' inclusion that is to the side of the diamond can be considered an SI1 because it''s not as prominent visually. How much to the side is it? Usually i try to cover the inclusions by the sides with the prongs so as to hide the noticeability. Even if the inclusion is too far ''in'' to be covered by the prong if you align it with the prong end it also hides the inclusion to the eyes as well.

arm''s length away visibility??? that''s a little surprising for an SI1...

I highly doubt that damage came to the stone by way of the jewelers forceps on a 2 carat cushion.
Ditto - another expert here once put it very nicely that diamonds eat tweezers for breakfast, so I wouldn''t worry about the forceps too much. If it was me, although this cloud might be perfectly fine, I would get an independant appraisal to have an expert opinion as to if there is a problem. That would be my first step.
 

dow084

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 24, 2007
Messages
2
I understand your skepticism, and I admit that I am not very experienced with diamonds. However, that should make it all the stranger then that I and everyone else that I''ve shown the diamond to are able to quickly see this "cloud" on the most lateral aspect of the diamond literally from arm''s length away. And, I can tell you that I looked at this loose diamond prior to its purchase for a very long time both with the naked eye and under a microscope and did not ever see this flaw (if I did I certainly would not have purchased the diamond).

I''ve read posts on these forums from people who say they''ve chipped their diamonds after simply dropping it on the floor. It seems most people feel that when this happens, most likely the diamond was dropped directly onto one of its flaws. Since the diamond I purchased did, according to its GIA certificate, have a feather in the exact area of the "cloud", is it out of the question that it was caused by pressure from whatever device the jeweler used to hold the diamond while it was mounted on the setting? When I run my fingernail across the cloud, I can actually feel a slight "catch", which makes me think that there is some depression to the surface of the diamond.

Either way I honestly don''t know. If people here think that the defect was most likely there and that I just never saw it before I bought it, fine. I''ll just upgrade the ring and be done with it (though despite the fact that they have an upgrade policy, now that they have my money they don''t seem to be putting any effort at all into finding another diamond). On the other hand, if people here think that the jeweler did cause the damage and that they are just taking advantage of my personal ignorance of diamonds to sell me a story, then I''m going to be pretty upset and start to wonder what my other options are (if I have any at all).

I don''t mean to sound difficult. But, I spent a great deal of my savings to purchase this diamond, and I don''t care to be taken advantage of...
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
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13,324
Date: 1/25/2007 3:41:59 AM
Author: dow084
I understand your skepticism, and I admit that I am not very experienced with diamonds. However, that should make it all the stranger then that I and everyone else that I''ve shown the diamond to are able to quickly see this ''cloud'' on the most lateral aspect of the diamond literally from arm''s length away. And, I can tell you that I looked at this loose diamond prior to its purchase for a very long time both with the naked eye and under a microscope and did not ever see this flaw (if I did I certainly would not have purchased the diamond).

I''ve read posts on these forums from people who say they''ve chipped their diamonds after simply dropping it on the floor. It seems most people feel that when this happens, most likely the diamond was dropped directly onto one of its flaws. Since the diamond I purchased did, according to its GIA certificate, have a feather in the exact area of the ''cloud'', is it out of the question that it was caused by pressure from whatever device the jeweler used to hold the diamond while it was mounted on the setting? When I run my fingernail across the cloud, I can actually feel a slight ''catch'', which makes me think that there is some depression to the surface of the diamond.

Either way I honestly don''t know. If people here think that the defect was most likely there and that I just never saw it before I bought it, fine. I''ll just upgrade the ring and be done with it (though despite the fact that they have an upgrade policy, now that they have my money they don''t seem to be putting any effort at all into finding another diamond). On the other hand, if people here think that the jeweler did cause the damage and that they are just taking advantage of my personal ignorance of diamonds to sell me a story, then I''m going to be pretty upset and start to wonder what my other options are (if I have any at all).

I don''t mean to sound difficult. But, I spent a great deal of my savings to purchase this diamond, and I don''t care to be taken advantage of...
thank goodness for 6 prongs.
an appraiser will give you the straight dope.
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
I quite understand how you are feeling, and we are here to help you! It does happen that folk all of a sudden notice an inclusion that has been there all the time after considerable time has passed, although not necessarily one like you describe. Is this cloud on the actual girdle? There are so many possibilities here, you really need an expert to look at it as they can tell exactly what is there and the cause. Sorry I can''t be of much help, I really recommend you see an appraiser.
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
8,747

Show it to an independent expert who doesn’t have a vested interest in keeping you happy with the sale. My guess is that what you are seeing is the girdle reflection or possibly a reflection of part of the mounting but there is no way to tell for sure without examining the stone. I agree with the above that a chip is very unlikely. They don’t look like clouds and a chip big enough to see from arms length would be very easy to feel with your fingernail test.



Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
2,509
Dear Dow

Trying to determine that what you''re seeing was or wasn''t pre-existing can be a bit of a challenge, even for a trained and experienced gemologist.

Sometimes it is possible, but the best person was the one who saw it intially. It really is imperative if possible to have the "before" conditiion to make that determination.

One other circumstance might be that you are possibly seeing a relection of the inside of a prong, if this area is close to one of the prongs. Many times setting do not finish the inside of a prong leaving uneven or rough spots, and diamonds do have the ability to reflect upwards what is "occuring" sideways.

But there is the possibility that if there was a feather in that area, that it spread or extended into the stone during the setting. This could be a distinct possibility if there was some internal strain associated with that inclusion. Often after a break and the strain is released it might not show.

It might be a good suggestion to submit the stone back to GIA, since they saw it before anything potentially happened.

There is an immense benefit to having an independent look at the stone previous to purchase, and given the expense of this stone, that would have been the prudent thing to do.

There is certainly a benefit and reasonable "to use your own eyes" when purchasing a stone, but I think that should be liimited to personal appearance preferences than judging gemological quality or attributes, which is far better left to be reviewed by trained eyes, rather than consumer ones.

As to the integrity of the seller trading it back in.... well, if he isnt disclosing that something happened, he lack of interest in finding you a better stone MIGHT be motivated by him not wanting the stone you have back, and as such is "dragging his feet" on finding you a different stone.

After the fact, one can only make guesses as to what the facts are, but I think getting an opinion from GIA is a viable option for you. You might want an independent opinion too, but I''d first see what GIA says.

In addition, this could be a natural that is more visible after the setting, and not an internal characteristic. But as Neil and other suggested - expert, independent review is the best path for you to take at this time.

Rockdoc
 

DBM

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
404
Date: 1/25/2007 3:41:59 AM
Author: dow084
I understand your skepticism, and I admit that I am not very experienced with diamonds. However, that should make it all the stranger then that I and everyone else that I''ve shown the diamond to are able to quickly see this ''cloud'' on the most lateral aspect of the diamond literally from arm''s length away. And, I can tell you that I looked at this loose diamond prior to its purchase for a very long time both with the naked eye and under a microscope and did not ever see this flaw (if I did I certainly would not have purchased the diamond).
i think the people above are giving the best advice by suggesting the appraiser . Just another thought that came to mind regarding what you said about "feeling" the nick --- does the certificate mention a "natural" as one of hte inclusions? is it possible that the "cloud/feather" that you and the jeweler are referring to is a natural (a part of a rough diamond that the cutter leaves unpolished for weight retention)??

naturals are external to the stone, feathers and clouds are not, so unless it is in fact a "chip" i''m surprised to hear you can "feel" the inclusion...
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
Daniel, I was also wondering about a natural, espcially as it can be felt....Dow, an appraiser can tell you for sure, in which case no worries.
 
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